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How Older Adults Can Stay Safe Online

It’s the 21st century and the internet is a vital tool for staying in touch with family and friends, accessing resources, planning travel, and many other things.

However, the internet also provides easy access to scammers. Scammers often target older adults because they perceive them as more vulnerable. Because they did not grow up with the internet, some seniors are less savvy about correct internet use and computer use.

So, how can you stay safe online? Here are some tips.

Become more internet savvy

If you are not as experienced using the internet, using it more can help you protect yourself from scams. This kind of knowledge can help you avoid both blatant scams and companies that are not exactly scams, but not reputable either. You will learn how to navigate websites. Consider reading a book or taking a course to learn more about the internet.

Practice good “cyber hygiene”

Cyber hygiene is a list of things you should bear in mind when on the internet.

  • Don’t click on links in emails, even if you think you know who it is from. If your bank sends you an email, navigate to the website using your browser, not any link in the email. Also be wary of links in social media. There are a variety of circulating Facebook scams, for example, where a friend will send you a message with a link to a video you are in or, more recently, “Look who just passed away.” Clicking on the link compromises your Facebook account.
  • Don’t give personal or account information out over email. Never email passwords.
  • Don’t respond to deals that look too good to be true.
  • Double check the URL before entering payment on a site. There have been instances of hotel sites being cloned and people paying for a booking which then does not exist.
  • Use a password manager that generates secure passwords you don’t have to remember.
  • Limit the personal information you post online. Don’t post your phone number on social media sites.

Being internet savvy is a challenge for older adults, and something family members can help with. At Ovation Sienna Hills, we support our residents with their needs, including helping them with the internet. Contact us to find out how you can enjoy retirement at Ovation Sienna Hills in St. George, Utah.

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